Noor Jehan, a 17-year-old endangered elephant, has died at Pakistan’s Karachi Zoo, and the animal welfare charity that was treating it has called for the zoo to be shut down.
The elephant was already suffering from serious diseases Fell in a pond last weekFour Feet said in a statement.
Over the past few weeks, the elephant’s health had deteriorated to the point where it was unable to stand up.
“She was lying on the ground for a long time — a life-threatening situation for elephants,” the team said.
“Despite our tireless efforts and endless work by the team, we could not bring her back to her feet. She struggled for days but succumbed to her critical condition,” it added.
Animal groups say elephants in captivity typically die by the time they reach 40 years old, a significantly shorter lifespan than those living in the wild.
Four Paws called for the zoo’s other elephant, Madhubala, to be moved “to a more species-appropriate location as soon as possible to prevent another possible tragedy”.
“We hope the authorities in Pakistan will take Noor Jehan’s tragic fate as an example and do better for captive wild animals in the country in the future. Noor Jehan represents many more wild animals,” the group said.
“We welcome the Central and Sindh Government’s consideration of the permanent closure of Karachi Zoo. This would be a breakthrough for the welfare of captive wild animals in Pakistan,” the statement continued.
Karachi Zoo director Khalid Hashmi was removed from the post on April 8 following allegations of negligence, Reuters reported.
His successor, Kanwar Ayub, said in the week after Four Paw’s visit that he was not sure if the complaints were true.
“However, there was no negligence in the three days I was appointed, guaranteed,” he said on Friday, noting that there could be negligence over time.
Noor Jehan was brought to Pakistan from Tanzania more than a decade ago, Reuters reported.